Stem announces acquisition of AlsoEnergy as it seeks to maximize the potential of solar and storage projects

Dive brief:

  • Stem artificial intelligence-based energy storage company plans announced to acquire the AlsoEnergy solar asset management platform, creating what companies say is a “one-stop-shop” to manage solar and storage projects.
  • AlsoEnergy, based in Boulder, Colo., Provides software, grid edge monitoring, and other services to solar energy owners and operators. It manages around 32.5 GW of solar assets. As part of the new partnership, this platform will be offered alongside Stem’s energy storage optimization platform, with a view to a possible merger of the platforms.
  • Larsh Johnson, chief technology officer of Stem, said the merger will help solar and storage operators manage their assets more efficiently, especially as operators install more hybrid projects. “These hybrid assets… will be the fundamental approach to distributed resources, and our platforms and data will help customers and the network. [to] make the most of renewable energies. “

Dive overview:

Stem’s AI-based software is designed to enable storage owners to maximize their opportunities in the electricity market, by finding optimal ways to deploy storage to reduce peak electricity use and get it to the most profitable times. Johnson said many of the company’s customers who also had solar or hybrid projects were already using AlsoEnergy, which also provides advanced metering and management for solar generation to keep customer costs down.

This, Johnson said, has made AlsoEnergy a natural partner in maximizing the potential of solar and storage facilities. Stem’s chief strategy officer, Prakesh Patel, added that the partnership will provide a valuable addition to solar operators looking to install storage.

“You need additional capacity like our platform to support the storage economy,” Patel said. “Everything seems to be going in the direction of more data which creates better integrated resources. From this perspective, storage becomes the essential solution. “

A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report report found that about 17% of all U.S. battery storage capacity installed in 2020 was solar energy, covering about 550 MW of battery capacity. Most of these investments were in the residential sector, where overall hybrid installations have increased year over year since 2016. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted that storage could be multiplied by 10 between 2019 and 2023 to bring 10,000 MW to the grid, much of which would be associated with solar or other production.

Currently, 30% of AlsoEnergy customers are also Stem customers. Stem therefore says the acquisition will provide opportunities to expand each market and leverage existing customer bases. Both platforms will be offered to existing customers, allowing them to leverage data collected on either side of the solar-plus-storage equation.

Johnson said data from AlsoEnergy’s more than 41,000 customers in the commercial and utility space will be of benefit to storage operators, who can better understand the peculiarities of storage in different technologies and environments. The result will be a “powerful combination” that can maximize the role of solar power and grid storage, Johnson said, distributing electricity when renewable energy production is lower and demand is high or low. by storing it during peak hours.

The $ 695 million purchase will be a mix of cash and common stock. It also comes in the middle of a burst of action in solar storage space plus; Over the past two weeks, Shell announced the acquisition of solar storage company plus Savion, and KKR announced the launch of an asset-driven investment platform combining solar generation and battery storage .

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